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Sunday, 18 August 2019
Thomas Pieters  (Getty Images)
Thomas Pieters (Getty Images)
Thomas Pieters strengthened his grip on the D+D Real Czech Masters title after stretching his lead to two shots on the front nine on Sunday.

Pieters carded four birdies and a single bogey in his first nine holes to move to 19 under par and keep last year's winner Andrea Pavan at arm's length.

Italian Pavan was alone in second place on 17 under after firing eight birdies and no bogeys in his first 16 holes.

Englishman Sam Horsfield and Swede Rikard Karlberg were another shot back in a tie for third as they made their way down the stretch.

Albatross Golf Resort has been a happy hunting ground for Belgian Pieters, who tasted victory at the 2015 edition before coming second behind Paul Peterson the following year.

And he has enjoyed further success here so far this week, posting rounds of 67, 67 and 66 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday respectively to head into the final round with a one shot lead.

The big hitting Belgian rolled in his 18 foot birdie putt at the long first to jump to 17 under par before safely parring his next two holes as the wind began to blow in Prague.

After driving to within easy chipping range at the par four fourth, Pieters left himself around seven feet for a birdie but just missed his putt and had to settle for another par.

He passed up a second birdie chance in succession from a similar distance at the fifth to remain two shots clear of the growing chasing pack.

Pieters finally made one of his chances count as he rolled in his birdie effort from ten feet at the sixth to move to 18 under.

He then sent his tee shot at the short seventh to inside 12 feet before rolling in for a second consecutive birdie.

But a missed putt from three feet on the eighth green saw Pieters drop his first shot of the day.

And as the leader returned to 18 under, defending champion Pavan knocked in his short putt at the 15th to card his eighth birdie of the day and close the gap to one.

Pieters closed his front nine with a bounce back birdie at the long ninth to head into the turn with a two shot lead.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1PIETERS, ThomasBEL18-19
2ARNAUS, AdriESP18-18
T3PAVAN, AndreaITA18-16
T3HORSFIELD, SamENG18-16
T5SCHWAB, MatthiasAUT18-14
T5JOHNSTON, LiamSCO18-14

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